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This post was most recently updated on August 4th, 2020
AC Lens is one of the leading retailers for prescription glasses, contact lenses, as well as other eye care products. They are actually one of the oldest online prescription eyewear retailers on the market having been found in 1995 by Dr. Peter Clarkson in the back of an optometrist office on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
AC Lens Review
AC Lens is my top pick when it comes to places to buy contact lenses online. That isn’t all they offer though, they offer everything from contacts, eyeglasses, sunglasses, readers, as well as eye care products. Whether you are looking for prescription eyewear or just looking for eye drops, AC Lens provides you with a great one-stop-shop for all your eye care needs.
Since AC Lens carries both contacts as well as glasses we will take a look at both. Let’s begin with the product that they first started online with, contact lenses.
AC Lens Contact Lenses
AC Lens carries one of the largest selections of contact lens brands you will find on any website. Whether you are looking for daily, weekly, monthly, colored, toric, or multifocal lenses, AC Lens has a huge selection for you to pick from. They are also one of the few retailers online where you can purchase rigid gas permeable (RGP) hard contact lenses.
AC Lens also has a huge selection of different brands including Acuvue, Air Optix, Bausch + Lomb, and Dailies. But they also carry many lesser-known brands such as Biomedics, Clearsight, Optimum, and Optima. Some of those brands are made by the same manufacturer and marketed under different names so some brands are interchangeable, but it doesn’t hurt to actually get the brand you were written out for even if they are the same lenses.
When doing a price comparison to other online retailers, AC Lens had the best price on many different brands of contact lenses. What about the ones they don’t have the best price? AC Lens has the best price match guarantee out there. If you happen to find a price that is lower then theirs, not only will they price match their competitor but they will beat their competitor’s price by 5%. Believe it or not, there are online retailers that don’t even price match, so price match plus an additional percentage back is amazing.
AC Lens Glasses
If you are looking to purchase prescription glasses, AC Lens has a decent selection of frames for you to pick from. Compared to other retailers such as SmartBuyGlasses, AC Lens selection is fairly small. But regardless you still have nearly 2000 frames to look through when you are considering men, women, as well as kids.
They carry a nice selection of affordable in-house made frames, as well as a decent selection of designer eyewear that includes, Ray-Ban, GUESS, Oakley, Brooks Brothers, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, and much more.
Picking out your frames
With hundreds of frames to look through, I was excited to see that they had a healthy selection of filters you could apply to narrow down your frame search.
Using the filters you can narrow down your selection by gender, age range, price, brand, color, frame material, frame type, frame shape, frame style, frame weight, and frame size. I have always found the filters to be quite helpful, especially with these websites usually having hundreds of frames to look through, and no one has the time to sit there and go through hundreds of frames. Especially frames in colors you don’t like, or sizes that wouldn’t fit, having these filters saves you a ton of time.
For me personally, the frame size is the filter I use the most. I tend to need wider than average frames and would hate to see a frame and fall in love with it just to find out that it wouldn’t fit because it is too small. After you have your frame all picked out, it’s time to move on to the lenses.
Picking out your lenses
When you start selecting your lenses, the first thing that you will encounter will be your lens type. Which type of lens you will get will be ultimately determined by your eye exam and prescription. AC Lens offers two types of lenses for you to pick from depending on what you need, here are your choices:
- Single Vision – These lenses have one power throughout the entire lens, and would be able to be used for distance, reading, or intermediate (computer) lenses but not combined in any way.
- Progressive Bifocal – Progressive lenses provide you with a blend between your distance, intermediate, and reading. The lens starts with your distance power on top and gradually goes to the reading power on the bottom. There is also no visible line where the power difference is and has the appearance of a single vision lens.
After you pick which type of lens you are going to need, it will prompt you to enter your prescription in. If you elected to go with a progressive lens you will have to include an ADD power for your reading, which you should be able to find on your prescription. After you have your prescription entered in you will move on to the lens packages.
Under lens packages, your options are fairly simple and you only have 4 choices to pick from:
- Standard – This is your basic lens package with standard plastic lenses. This package is included with your glasses and comes standard with a scratch-resistant coating. It is important to remember that standard plastic lenses do not automatically come with UV protection and that will have to be added if you go with the standard lenses.
- Gold – The gold package comes with lightweight polycarbonate lenses, with a scratch-resistant coating, as well as a UV protection coating. Polycarbonate lenses have a strong scratch-resistant coating and is impact resistant so your lenses would not shatter if something went flying at it.
- Platinum – The platinum package comes with the ultra-thin high-index lenses. These lenses are generally for individuals who have stronger prescriptions, but you do not need a strong prescription to upgrade to high-index lenses. High-index lenses give you one of the most scratch-resistant lens materials, so if you are rough on your glasses you could benefit from high-index lenses.
- Transitions – This is the other package that you can pick, there isn’t anything different between this package and the gold package except for the addition of transitions. Transition lenses can have many benefits if you are someone to enjoys spending time outdoors but do not want to have to carry multiple pairs of glasses around.
After you pick which lens package you want to go with next is the lens add-ons.
- Anti-Reflective Coating – An anti-reflective coating helps to reduce the amount of glare that you would normally get from various different light sources, reducing the amount of reflected light and allowing more light to pass through the lens onto your eyes. This coating also helps reduce the glare you would get from oncoming traffic when you are driving at night.
- Roll & Polish Edge Finishing – This is a process in which the lens edges are polished to remove the frosted look, and the roll helps make the lenses appear thinner.
After selecting your add-ons, you will be taken to a screen where you can review all of the options that you have selected for your glasses to make sure they are correct.
What if I wanted prescription sunglasses?
If you were looking for prescription sunglasses you can get those here at AC Lens as well. If you navigate over to the “sunglasses” menu, there is a category for prescription sunglasses under lens types. If you go there, you will find all the sunglass frames you can get with a prescription. After you pick your frame, simply enter in your prescription and next you will be faced with the different sunglass lens packages.
- Standard – The standard sunglass lens is a standard CR-39 plastic lens that comes with the UV protection coating, scratch-resistant coating, and are tinted gray or brown to provide protection from the bright sunlight.
- Ultra-Thin – The ultra-thin package is a high-index lens, which is generally for stronger prescriptions. This lens also comes with the UV protection coating, scratch-resistant coating, and like the plastic lenses come tinted in gray or brown.
- Polarized – This is your polarized lens package, which provides you with better glare protection especially from flat horizontal surfaces such as the ground, or large bodies of water. This package comes in a polycarbonate lens, with the scratch-resistant coating, UV-Protection, and can be purchased with a gray or brown tint.
Shipping Cost & Time
AC Lens does provide free standard shipping, but your purchase has to be over $99. I found that to be a higher threshold than most other online retailers that offer free shipping. There are plenty of retailers that offer free shipping without a minimum purchase.
The good thing with prescription eyewear is that it is fairly easy to get your purchase over $99. If you can’t get your purchase over $99 then your shipping cost is as follow.
- Standard – $5.99 | Prescription eyewear takes about 9-14 business days, contact lenses and accessories take about 5-7 business days.
- Expedited – $8.99 | Prescription eyewear takes about 7-11 business days, contact lenses and accessories take about 3-4 business days.
- Overnight – $19.99 | Prescription eyewear takes 1 business day, contact lenses and accessories takes 1 business day.
As I have mentioned before, you really shouldn’t use expedited shipping unless you really have an emergency. Using expedited shipping brings up the price of your eyewear for no reason.
Return Policy & Warranty
AC Lens has one of the best return policies available, allowing you to return items for up to 365-days after the shipping date for no charge. Your eyeglasses are also covered under this 365-day return policy, therefore if your frame breaks or has any other defects you can ship your glasses back to AC Lens and they will either replace, exchange, or refund the order for you.
If you have trouble with your prescription on your glasses and your doctor changes your prescription, AC Lens will replace your lenses with your new prescription one time free of charge.
AC Lens is definitely my best overall pick when it comes to purchasing prescription eyewear online. They have one of the best selection of contact lenses, and they are one of the more reasonably priced retailers out there. But if you do happen to find a price that is lower, AC Lens has the best price match guarantee to go along with that.
And that isn’t all, they carry a nice selection of prescription glasses, as well as readers, accessories, and eye care products such as contact lens solution and eye drops. Which makes them a great one-stop-shop for all of your eye care needs.
Have you purchased from AC Lens before? I would love to hear from you, drop a comment below!
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